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Spring Flowering Trees and Shrubs Blooming in Fall

Don’t worry if your forsythia, lilacs or azaleas are sprouting a few flowers in fall. You can blame it on the weather not your green thumb.

Spring flowering trees and shrubs form their flower buds the summer prior to their spring bloom.  The spring flower buds on most of these plants are fully developed by mid to late summer.  You’ll notice the larger swollen flowerbuds on these plants in fall. This is why you must wait until right after flowering to do any needed pruning if you want flowers the following spring.

These spring bloomers occasionally produce a few fall flowers after a stressful growing season or extreme change in climate.  It is almost like the plants were tricked into behaving like it was spring. This is nothing to worry about as long as the plants have and continue to receive proper care.  You will just have fewer blooms in spring.

A bit more information: Summer blooming trees and shrubs form their flower buds on new growth the same season they bloom. Pruning these, if needed, during the dormant season will not interfere with flowering.


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